Joseph Hartwell Jones

Joseph Hartwell Jones

Course Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Production)

Year of Graduation: 2009

Top career highlights:

  • Being involved in the recording of Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ from beginning to end - and being thanked onstage at the Oscars!
  • Winning an MPG Award for ‘UK Single of the Year’ for FKA twigs - ‘Pendulum’

Internationally recognised Music Production alumnus, Joseph Hartwell Jones, boasts an impressive portfolio of work which presents an abundance of exciting collaborations and award-winning music.  Having worked as assistant engineer for multi-Grammy award-winning producer Paul Epworth (Adele, Cee Lo Green, Florence and the Machine, Plan B, Lana Del Rey), he was involved in the recording of Adele’s Bond theme 'Skyfall' at Abbey Road studios in London and has worked his way up to build a distinguished career as a producer/ engineer and independent creator. Despite his imposing CV, Joseph still impresses the importance of hard-work and graft to succeed in this fast-lane business. He recently visited Leeds Conservatoire to deliver a workshop to current production students - we caught up with him to find out a bit more about life in the production industry. 


What did you learn at Leeds Conservatoire that has really helped build your professional career?

Up-to-date, transferable skills for professional working life - Because the tutors are working in the industry whilst also teaching at the conservatoire, you get real industry insight. 

As a student you worked on Call Lane, what did you make of Leeds’ music scene and the city as a whole?

I loved it. There’s something for everybody and in particular a very vibrant and exciting electronic music scene.

You have extensive studio experience, working with Paul Epworth, Beethoven Street and at the Church Studios. Tell us about working in the studios and your advice for young producers trying to get a foot on the ladder?

In my experience working in studios goes far beyond working on recording sessions with artist and musicians, it’s all the behind the scenes stuff. It’s definitely important to realise that within the studio culture there’s a very clear hierarchy and you’ll no doubt be paying your dues for quite some time before progressing past being a runner or studio assistant.

What has been the stand out moment of your career so far?

It’s very hard to single this down to one moment, so let’s say it was when Paul McCartney had me in a headlock.

You’ve worked with some incredible artists and true legends of the music business, Paul McCartney and Adele, to name a few. Who have you learnt something really invaluable from and what was it? 

I’ve worked on session with many legends, mostly in a recording and engineering capacity. There’s a thread that seems to tie them all which is their untiring enthusiasm to keep making music. Paul McCartney in particular worked so incredibly fast and was always happy to move on to new ideas allowing his previous ideas to exist without judgement.

Tell us a bit about your independent work as a producer and your solo projects?

I currently split my time between in-house producer/engineer for Epworth’s label Wolf Tone and working on my own writing and production projects. Recent projects include Art School Girlfriend,  Intergalactic Republic of Kongo, Karyyn, Lovekraft, Zola Blood. I’ve also recently started playing bass guitar in a band so watch this space! Going out on my own has made me realise the importance of building a strong network of contacts around you.

You’ve spoken about how studio work is a full time lifestyle – now you’re self-employed how do you balance various commitments and manage a busy schedule?

Organisation is key and exercise to keep my head clear. I also occasionally sleep at the recording studio to maximise my work time during the week.

What are your top tips for aspiring producers? 

Be inspired. Keep making music and let the muse find you.


Backup your work!

Learn more about our undergraduate BA Music in Production – here.

Find out more about what our successful graduates have been up to in our Alumni Profiles

Are you a Leeds Conservatoire graduate? Reconnect with us here

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